Mianatra Center for Lemur Studies
“Mianatra” is the verb “to learn” in the
language of Madagascar (Malagasy), hence LCF’s Mianatra Center
for Lemur Studies is the learning center that serves as the
centerpiece of the Myakka City Lemur Reserve campus. It supports LCF
staff, scientists, researchers, students and visitors in their
efforts to better understand the nature, ecology and conservation of
the primates of Madagascar.
The facility comprises staff offices, a spacious
reading/conference room equipped with the latest audio-visual and
computer technology, a glassed-in private meeting room, a small
kitchen for corporate and board dinners, a handicapped accessible
bathroom, an equipment/storage room, and a screened-in lanai for
relaxation and informal meetings.
Housed in the Center is the Anne and Walter Bladstrom Library,
made up of virtual, digital and physical collections about all things
“lemur”. Essentially a one-stop globally accessible
information resource about lemurs, the library will include:
1) A free, web-based system that assembles, manages, and maintains
a collection of links and their information concerning lemur natural
history and scientific research. Such links would include websites
like Madagascar Fauna Group, Duke Lemur Center and Primate InfoNet.
It would also provide full-search capabilities that allow readers to
access appropriate electronic journals, such as American Journal of
Primatology and Folio Primatologica.
2) A depository for storing and retrieving documents
electronically. Such documents would include theses, dissertations,
research papers, digitized rare books, photos and film archives. It
will also include a variety of historical documents, art and
ephemeral materials scanned and digitized for access on the LCF site.
3) A significant collection of books, photos, art, artifacts and
On permanent exhibition in the Center is a collection of the
original artwork featured on LCF’s coveted annual calendars.
These pieces have been created by some of America’s most
respected artists especially for the Foundation and are as varied in
media presentation as they are marvelous.
In addition to researchers and professors, the Mianatra Center
will host select groups of students and adult visitors on an
appointment only basis who wish to learn more about lemurs and their
place in the web of biological diversity. Because the lemur
enclosures are off-limits to the general public, visitors are invited
to watch lemurs housed in the lemur enclosures from the deck and
viewing platform through binoculars.
Featured on the Center deck is an exhibit cage housing lemurs that
cannot free-range in the forest that provides an
up-close-and-personal encounter with these rare and wonderful
The Mianatra Center for Lemur Studies was designed by architect
Gregory Clement, a partner in Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), an
internationally renowned architecture firm based in New York and
London. The LCF gratefully acknowledges the generosity of KPF for
this beautiful pro bono design and technical support through its
LCF further acknowledges LCF director Michael T. Martin for
underwriting the technical development plan for the library and Mark
Braunstein and Katharine McKenna for furnishing the Center with the
latest and most innovative audio-visual equipment through
Mark’s company Markertec.
Anne and Walter Bladstrom, after whom the library is named,
graciously underwrote the furniture, computers, technical
infrastructure, and additional elements needed for a library to run
smoothly. The realized vision of the Mianatra Center for Lemur
Studies was made possible through the astonishing generosity of Emily
H. Fisher Alexander and John Alexander, whose support throughout
LCF’s growth allowed for the fulfillment of a dream.